Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Dave Hill of Slade
Originally uploaded by Rozanne.
Last night during Sivasana in my yoga class—the time during which one is supposed to be lying there like a corpse with one’s mind totally blank—my mind was mulling over exactly what I am going to do come Saturday night when I will be expected to sing a song (or perhaps two or three) at a friend’s birthday party, which is being held in a karaoke bar.


I've made my feelings about karaoke clear before. Apart from the fact that I don't get karaoke, I don’t sing (maybe that's one reason I don't get it). Not in the shower, not in the car, not while I’m Cometing out the tub. I’m pretty sure the last time I sang in public was in 8th-grade chorus class. And even then it was with 20 other kids.

But if I don’t sing at this karaoke party, I’m going to look like a spoilsport and really disappoint my friend. She's informed me that she’s expecting some classic rock from me.

So I was thinking, what songs do I know the words to? Well, there’s “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme” and “Suicide Is Painless" (AKA the theme song from M*A*S*H)--those, believe it or not, are what we sang in 8th-grade chorus.

Yeah, I know that in karaoke the lyrics are up on a screen for you, but I’d feel a lot more comfortable singing something I had memorized in its entirety. And I seriously don’t know if there are any songs that fit that requirement. But the best I could probably manage would be to recite random snatches from various tunes I've heard here and there througout my lifetime. For example:

And you’ll have to eat your lunch all by yourself.
Click bang, what a hang, your daddy just shot poor me.
From the Queen of England to the hounds of hell.
Girlfriend in a coma, I know, I know, it’s serious.
Here come the big black Mariah, here come the big black Ford.
Here I am, rotch you like a hurrycan.
I’ll live a lush life in some small dive. And there I’ll be, while I rot with the rest of those whose lives are lonely too.
I’m a king bee!
Just leave the ring on the rails for the wheels to nullify.
Little girl from Cherry Lane, how did you get so bold ? How did you know that golden rule?
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?

Problem #1: I don’t know any songs all the way through except those two songs from 8th grade. No way could I hack the two-part harmony in "Parsley, Sage...." that. Plus, it's a round or something. And I doubt they would have “Suicide Is Painless” available. Plus, not really the sort of thing you want to belt out at someone’s birthday party.

Problem #2: I have about a three-note range. One of those songs that the singer just talks through would be perfect for me. Anyone know any songs like that? I can’t think of any at the moment except for the Rex Harrison songs in My Fair Lady. Again I doubt the karaoke place would have those.

Problem #3: I suffer from stage fright—even when I know what I’m doing. Since I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m likely to really choke. I can see myself listening to the opening bars of whatever I end up, seeing the lyrics flash on the screen, and either freezing up or croaking out the lyrics off key.

I know some people might suggest that I pound back 100 Mai Tais before taking the stage, but that would mean that I’d be in no condition to go hiking the next day and that is a sacrifice I’m not willing to make.

Look where we hiked last weekend!

Pond on McNeil Point Trail

Being able to hike to picture-postcard wilderness areas like this is the reason I live here, and the hiking season for alpine hikes is short so I’m not going to do any self-sabotage.

Still, I’m not looking forward to humiliation on the karaoke stage. I guess I just shouldn’t care. Just go up there and get it over with. The bar will probably be chock-a-block with people chain-smoking and waiting their own turn in the spotlight. They probably won’t even notice my dismal performance.

Whatever. Not worth spending any more time on. I should probably be combing through my CDs and iTunes looking for songs that I might possibly be able to sing and practicing them. Jeez!


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